There are many things to do as a new home based business owner, but if you do not have a trustworthy accountant, you should start looking. Sure you could do it yourself, but unless you are an accountant, your time would be best spent doing what you do best and letting an expert handle your finances.
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Finding an Accountant for Your Home Based Business

There are many things to do as a new home based business owner, but if you do not have a trustworthy accountant already, you should start looking. Sure you could do it yourself, but unless you are an accountant, your time would be best spent doing what you do best (as in your business) and letting an expert handle your finances.

One of the many reasons most home business owners struggle to handle their own accounting is the fear of trusting their finances and personal information to a stranger. That is certainly an understandable reason to hesitate however there are measures you can take to hire an accountant you can trust for your business.

• Determine what you need an accountant to do. Do you need them to handle payables and receivables or are you more concerned about quarterly tax filings? Are you looking for someone to compile financial statements on a regular basis or to simply perform the task once in order to apply for a business loan or to present to investors? An accountant can help you find the best ways to take advantage of the tax breaks available for home business owners. Define what you need an accountant to do before you set out to find one you can trust.

• Ask for referrals. One of the best ways to find any kind of provider whether it is a ghostwriter, attorney or an accountant is to ask people you know and trust for referrals, especially other home business owners. The presumption being, of course, that the accountant has an established history working with people you know and trust and is therefore trustworthy for your business needs too.

• Schedule an appointment. You don't have to pick the first accountant you call. Interview them like you would any employee. This is the person who you will be trusting with your financial information, you need to be sure you have common values, and a common goal for your business. You won't necessarily become best friends, however, there has to be a certain level of respect and friendship in order to establish a good business relationship.

Make sure you have your list of the tasks or responsibilities you need an accountant to handle on your appointment. In some cases, the appointment does not have to be face to face and in our virtual world it is often possible to have a virtual meeting, however you make the time, make sure that in some way you do visit with a potential accountant before you make your decision.

• Ask questions. In addition to making sure they're ready, willing, and able to take you on as a client, make sure they have experience with your sized business, the tasks you need accomplished, and that they have the time available in their schedule to be responsive to your needs. It is important to find an accountant who is more than just trustworthy, but who also is not too busy to return your calls.

• Recommendations. Ask your potential account who they've done business with and if you have questions about them don't be afraid to also ask for recommendations or people you can contact to make sure this is the right accountant for you. Once you have the recommendations, do not be afraid to contact them.

• Establish a system of how communication and documentation are going to work. If you set this up ahead of time you will know when to anticipate a call back from your accountant or when you need to have your paperwork together for your quarterly returns. Having these guidelines set out ahead of times will help to ensure a successful relationship.


Article by Stefani Padilla, author, entrepreneur, home based business owner, wife and mom. Stefani has over 20 years experience and education in business and working from home. To learn more about how you too can succeed in owning your own home based business, please visit Business4moms.com

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